#photography

Jillian Edelstein, on the topic of taking photos instead of living life:

It seems sad that world leaders such as Cameron and Obama, in the midst of a memorial for Mandela, found themselves unable to resist the power of taking a selfie, in order to prove to themselves that they were indeed present at the occasion. If they did not record it, how would they have proof that they were there?

If a tree falls in the forest… (Though I’m not sure this is all that different from any other photo op.)

The very first time I tried Loom, there was the “aha” moment: this is exactly how iCloud should workFast. Simple. Seamless. 

I now have six different devices hooked up, constantly sending my pictures and videos to the cloud and making them instantly available on any device.

In an age of mind-numbing “it just works” services and woeful reliability, Loom really does just work. Which is exactly why Google Ventures decided to invest.

More from the Loom team.

Andrew Weissman on his son using a smartphone as his camera:

All these techniques were driven by his ability to see the photos immediately after taking the picture. He could see, right away, the results of his tinkering. Something rarely available in the past.

As a result, he became fearless. About experimenting, using what he had but also trying new techniques, methods. Seeing the results and reacting to them, altering them, discarding them. In real time. He’s wondering if should save up and get at some point a digital single-lens reflect camera. Maybe he will, maybe he will lose interest in all of this.

Regardless, a new technology, one that I worried took away a most important part of the process for him (using the lens of my own experience), instead taught him something much different. And maybe more important. And he didn’t need to inhale any chemicals to learn that.

Sometimes I think the key to life is taking what you initially perceive to be a weakness and figuring out how it’s actually a strength.

bijan

bijan:

And I’m seeing so many people do just that. They are double fisting. iPhone in one hand and a more “serious camera” for different photography experiences.

I like this new notion of “double fisting”, and I’ve certainly seen this trend amongst some friends as well. But I highly doubt this becomes a norm. Most people will always “single fist” and that single fist will carry a smartphone as a camera.

Remember too that while improvements are being made to standalone cameras, the speed of innovation is happening much faster on the smartphone cameras. I can’t wait to see this new “iPhone 5S” camera. I have a point-and-shoot that broke a few weeks back. I haven’t yet had the urge to fix it because I never use it anyway. 99.999999% of my pictures are taken with my iPhone.

Great stuff by Kenny Suleimanagich. A few things of note. First:

At its peak, in 1996, Kodak was rated the fourth-most-valuable global brand. That year, the company had about two-thirds of the global photo market, annual revenues of $16 billion, and a market capitalization of $31 billion.

Today, Kodak trades around twelve cents a share. Its market cap is roughly $32 million. Yes, “million” with an “m”.

How will it be saved going forward?:

Among other things, Kodak CEO Antonio M. Perez is betting his commercial-printing business on high-volume customers who need a lot of ink, like product-packaging manufacturers. Even if this latest “pivot” is successful — and a lot of people think it’s a stretch — the company would be reduced to helping other people make the boxes used to ship the devices that will take the photographs of the future.

Sad.

In the 1980s, one Kodak engineer, impressed by the then-new Macintosh II computer, began making proposals for Kodak to move into the digital realm. By the late 80s, the company had already made a four megapixel sensor — and did nothing with it. Why? As former Wired editor Chris Anderson puts it:

“Who could afford that?” Anderson fired back, unimpressed. “Macs were really expensive. Computing technology couldn’t have kept up until much later.”

Finally, as a reminder that some of the most transformative things start as pure gimmicks, consider the original George Eastman patent from the late 1800s:

In his original patent, he wrote that his improvements applied to “that class of photographic apparatus known as ‘detective cameras,’ ” — concealed and disguised devices, made possible by a new wave of miniaturization, that were used mostly for a lowbrow entertainment: snapping pictures of people unaware. Cameras equipped with single-use chemical plates were hidden in opera glasses, umbrellas, and other everyday objects, and sharing the surreptitious, random, and sometimes compromising photos that resulted became a popular fad. Eastman, in other words, was obsessively tinkering with what many people at the time would have considered a cheap novelty or a toy. Like Netflix in its early days, Kodak relied on the U.S. Postal Service: Customers sent their spent cameras to Rochester, where the film was removed, processed, and cut into frames; the resulting negatives and prints, along with the camera, reloaded with a fresh roll of film, were returned to the sender. Suddenly it was easy for anyone to take lots of pictures, and Eastman’s new business became a juggernaut almost overnight.

Everyone out there: keep tinkering.

Peter Nixey:

Just so as you know by the way and don’t freak out but, I’d like to sort my photos when I’m sat on the loo. Or in the bus, or anywhere else I want to kill time with my phone. I don’t want to edit them when I’m sat at my desktop - that’s work time. It really pains me that I can’t do that and so my photos just pile up in a big heap while I waste time reading things I don’t care about on Twitter.

When you consider that the iPhone is now the most popular camera (in the U.S. if not the world), it’s sort of ridiculous that the photo management on the device is so obtuse.

Yes, it’s better than anything found on any point-and-shoot, but it could be so much better still. Just as Apple has moved app and music syncing away from the desktop, they need to move photo management fully to the cloud as well. The photos on my iMac are the only files I need to backup on a Time Capsule anymore. Everything else lives in the cloud.

[via Techmeme]